Animation scriptwriters play a vital role in the film industry. These creations are of great value, especially for entertaining children. While most cartoonists are college graduates, the role doesn’t entirely require earning a certificate, but involves more creativity and imaginative thinking.
Succeeding as an animation writer requires a combination of talent, skill, passion, and experience. In this article, you will learn how to become an animation scriptwriter.
What are the skills of an animation scriptwriter?
Successful animation writers boast of certain skills that set them apart in the film industry. Highlighting the following skills makes them reliable and bankable.
You have to be a good writer to be an animation writer. It takes the ingenuity of a writer to craft interesting stories and turn them into award-winning screenplays. Although some researchers believe that handwriting is innate, others argue that people can learn to improve their handwriting over time when they put their mind to it.
Animation, in general, is very visual. When you write your scripts, you need to visualize your story in your head and capture those visuals, so others can see what you have in mind. Being able to draw or sketch is handy, so you can easily interpret your characters and subjects.
An animation scriptwriter does not work alone; they work with a creative team to turn their ideas or scripts into movies. You need to have good communication skills to thrive working with other people.
4. Graphic design
Since we live in the digital age, drawing or sketching your characters with pen on paper is not enough. You need to be able to use digital tools for your drawing, and you need graphic design skills to do it successfully. With graphic design skills, you can customize free motion graphic templates according to your animation needs.
5. Time management
Film production is very important on time management. All production must follow a schedule to reduce costs and meet release schedules. As an animation writer, you will have to meet strict deadlines, so it is important that you have good time management skills.
The directors or producers may need you to make quick changes to your script, and you need to do so within the allotted time to keep the production circle running.
What are the steps to become an animation scriptwriter?
Once you have acquired the skills above, you can take the following steps to build a career as an animation writer.
1. Study animation materials
Animation writing is quite different from other types of writing. You don’t just jump into the field without equipping yourself with knowledge. Read comics and understand what makes an animation piece different and unique.
Spend time connecting ideas and studying the structure of other animations. Study colorful scenes and actions. Above all, an animator writer must know how to capture two or more characters in one scene.
2. Take courses
Animation writing isn’t something you just dive into and succeed at out of the blue. Like any other career, it requires maximum training and a gradual learning process. While you don’t necessarily need a college degree to thrive as an animation writer, you do need some training.
The internet is full of several platforms offering writing lessons. Platforms like Udemy and Coursera will connect you to the root of this type of writing. During your animation course, you will engage with other like-minded writers who are zealous and determined to learn. Don’t skip class; take assignments and attend to each task at hand. And then watch how your writing improves.
3. Practice and build your portfolio
Having a solid background increases your chances of becoming a successful animation writer, but not as much as your samples. In the film industry, a portfolio says a lot. People want to see what you’ve done and how well you’ve done it.
It is advisable to start building your portfolio as early as possible. As you spend time developing yourself as a guru, make sure you don’t miss out on opportunities.
4. Create a Script Bible
To get your breakthrough as an animation writer, you need to write an interesting script. It’s called a Bible in the animation industry. If you’re writing a series, your bible should include the first 13 episodes. The script is very important. It must be trendy and relevant to grab people’s attention.
Trace the plot of the whole story and write each episode in accordance with the overall plot. Since animation has a lot to do with visuals, create artwork for the main characters and subjects to give the people you’ll be working with an idea of what they’ll look like.
5. Pitch your story to movie directors and studios
Becoming a successful animation writer requires many accomplishments. It also requires you to start somewhere and avoid hiding. After creating a script bible, you need to present it to the people who matter. You can contact network representatives directly or have an agent do it for you.
Note that animation authors’ agents receive a share of their revenue. However, their connection and experience in the industry helps pave the way for beginners. They can either help seal a new filming project or secure you a role in an ongoing series.
6. Continuously develop your skills
There is always room for improvement as an animation writer. Like you, hundreds of writers are out there, striving to be the face of the industry. You doze off, you lose.
As a passionate animation writer, you should seek more knowledge about your craft and understand every element of it. You can join online animation forums and communities to learn more about this type of writing and replenish your thoughts with new ideas.
Online Resources for Animation Authors
Here are some online resources to get you started on your career as an animation writer.
- Global Animation Network: An online platform for trends, news and events in animation.
- Animation: A peer-reviewed journal for animation research.
- Animation magazine: A resource for news, trends and animated films.
- Udemy: A platform to follow animation courses.
- Coursera: A resource for taking animation courses.
How Much Do Animation Writers Earn?
According Ziprecruiter, animation writers in the United States earn an average salary of $72,555 per year, or $34.88 per hour and $1,395 per week. Expert Animation Writers earn up to $148,000. As a beginner, you can earn as little as $21,500.
Monetize your skills as an animation scriptwriter
Many animation writers are driven by passion. While it’s good to be passionate about something you do, you have to make money from it.
When you get the right skills, training, and experience, you’ll be in a good position to earn the pay, recognition, and accolades you deserve as an animation writer.